One Gift at a Time – Christmas short story & Giveaway

I love Christmas! I love everything about it – the excitement, the preparations, choosing the perfect gift, celebrating with my family and friends.

And this year I got to do something a little different. I got to write my first Christmas story!

You first met Sean and Dave in A Day At A Time.  Now join Sean and Dave for their first Christmas together.

Make sure you check out the giveaway at the bottom of the story.

One Gift At A Time

“I have one more for you,” Sean said with a mischievous smile.

Dave raised his eyebrows and the lights from the tree glinted in his bright blue eyes. “Really? Jeez babe, you sure know how to spoil a guy.”

Sean laughed. “Yeah, says the man who just gave me a trip to Hawaii.”

“Maybe that was more for me, rather than you,” teased Dave, “after all, Hawaii is known for its surfing.”

“And its hiking, and volcanoes, and there’ll be heaps of opportunities for photography—” Sean stopped talking as he caught the balled up wad of colorful paper Dave threw at him. Sean swallowed hard as he looked at the man who’d done so much to give him back a part of his life that had been missing for so long. Last Christmas Sean wouldn’t have dreamt of taking a holiday in the sun, of doing any activity involving exposing his scars. Dave had changed all that. He smiled at the man on the floor, sitting amongst the torn wrapping paper and empty boxes. “I’m looking forward to spending time at the beach. Maybe you can each teach me to surf?”

Dave’s grin lit up his whole face. “I’d like that.”

Sean tossed the paper ball back at Dave before picking up an envelope from the coffee table. Sean sat down on the floor in front of Dave and met his eyes.

“Here you go,” Sean said, as he passed him the white envelope.ID-10070

Dave leaned forward and gave Sean a quick kiss on the cheek. “Thanks.” Dave slipped his finger into the corner of the envelope, ripped the flap, and pulled the card out. Dave looked adorable as his bright blue eyes widened in surprise.

“Holy shit, babe! I can’t believe you remembered.”

“I saved every one of our emails.” Sean said, flushing as he admitted to keeping the emails he and Dave had exchanged when they’d first started seeing each other. He cherished the emails that gave Sean a glimpse of the man Dave was; his fears, passions and dreams.

“Aww… you big softie.” Dave leaned across and gave Sean another brief kiss, this time on his lips. Just a soft touch before he brought his mouth to Sean’s ear and whispered, “Don’t tell anyone, but I kept those emails, too.” Dave sat up straight again and winked at Sean. Dave waved the gift certificate around in the air. “I’m really going to do it. I’m going to throw myself out of a perfectly good airplane.”

“And I’ll be waiting for you on the ground with open arms.”

“Maybe I’ll convince you to come up with me.”

“And maybe pigs will fly.” Sean snorted.

“I don’t know. I have my ways.” Dave waggled his brows and launched himself at Sean, tackling him and pushing him to the ground. Dave’s hands skated up Sean’s torso to mercilessly squeeze Sean’s ribs.
Sean writhed and squealed on the floor. “Oh, shit. No tickling. No fair… Ahh!”

Dave climbed on top of Sean and the tickling slowed to a gentle caress along Sean’s sides. Sean’s cock immediately hardened as Dave’s muscled body settled over his. Dave nuzzled into Sean’s neck and whispered, his breath hot against Sean’s ear, “You give up, baby?”

Sean nodded and flexed his hips upward, pressing his now hard cock against Dave. His dick slid along Dave’s beneath the fabric of their pants. Sean groaned. “Oh, yeah.”

Dave’s lips met Sean’s in a slow, sensuous kiss. Dave’s morning stubble rasped across Sean’s skin, and Sean shivered at the contact. Dave’s lips were soft, and his tongue wet as Dave probed for entrance. Sean opened his mouth, and Dave plundered inside.

ID-10010979Dave ground his hips hard against Sean’s, and the wrapping paper crackled and crunched under their weight. Sean opened his eyes and looked up into the tiny twinkling lights in the tree above them. He turned his gaze back to Dave. Dave’s blue eyes stared intently at Sean as Dave sat up until he was straddling Sean’s thighs. Dave reached down to grasp the hem of Sean’s T-shirt and his voice dropped low. “I think I’ll unwrap this present next.”

The doorbell rang before Dave could get started, and they both turned their heads toward the door.

“What the hell? Who’d be here at this time on Christmas morning?” Dave grumbled, as he climbed off Sean.

“I’ll get it.” Sean jumped up. “Why don’t you get comfortable and wait for me on the couch?” He turned quickly to hide his excitement at the surprise he knew was waiting. He hurried down the hall and paused for a moment to tug his T-shirt over his erection, then opened the door.

“Hey, Joanna, thanks for doing this. I know it was a lot to ask on Christmas morning.”

Joanna leaned over and gave him a kiss. “It was my absolute pleasure. I feel like Santa Claus bearing gifts.” She giggled. Sean counted his blessings that Jo had become so much more than a co-worker and was now one of his dearest friends.

“Was she any trouble?” Sean looked at the woven picnic basket at Joanna’s feet.

“None whatsoever. I almost didn’t want to bring her this morning. She’s a sweet little thing.”

“Sean, who’s there?” Dave called from the living room.

“I won’t be long,” Sean called, eager to get back.

“You want to come in?” he asked Joanna.

“Nah. You go and give your present to your man.” She gave him another kiss on the cheek. “I’m so happy you’ve found someone, Sean. You deserve to be happy.”

Sean picked up the basket. “Merry Christmas, Jo. And thanks again.”

“Merry Christmas, honey.”

He closed the door and carefully carried the basket back to the living room where Dave was waiting on the couch.

“Good to know you can follow directions,” he laughed.

Dave sat up straighter. “What have you got there?”

“Why don’t you come over here and find out?” Sean placed the basket on the floor amongst the discarded paper.ID-10058650

Sean sat down on the floor next to the basket, and Dave joined him. Sean nudged the basket toward Dave and held his breath, hoping he’d done the right thing with this present. Their relationship had progressed quickly since they’d first gotten together earlier in the year. They’d moved in together after six months, and this present represented another big commitment.

“Oh my God,” Dave breathed, as he looked wide-eyed from the inside of the basket back to Sean. Sean leaned across and peered in at the sleeping little ball of reddish-brown fur with white markings. He’d only briefly seen the puppy the day before when he’d picked her up from the shelter and dropped her at Joanna’s.

“You got me a puppy?” Dave looked up and asked in amazement.

Sean nodded at the obvious question and couldn’t help but smile at the look of awe in Dave’s upturned face. “Actually, she’s a puppy now, but she won’t be for long. So, I actually got you a dog. Do you like her?”

Dave reached cautiously into the basket and stroked the fur. The puppy stirred, so Dave scooped her up and held her to his chest. The puppy nuzzled into his neck. “Yeah, I do. She’s gorgeous. But I know nothing about looking after a dog.”

Sean reached across and scratched the puppy behind the ears. “It’s okay. We’ll figure it out together. For a start, Mrs. Collins next door is going to look after her for the first couple of months during the day while we’re at work.”

Dave put the puppy on the rug, and she started sniffing around the paper. Dave pulled Sean over until Sean was sitting in the vee of his legs, leaning with his back on Dave’s chest. Together they sat there and watched the pint-sized bundle of fluff ambling over the wrapping and investigating the presents scattered about.

“What are you going to call her?” Dave asked.

“Lulu,” Dave said without hesitation.

“Lulu?” Sean repeated with a chuckle.

“Don’t you say a word,” Dave warned then kissed Sean’s temple. “I never had a dog when I was a kid, but I always wanted one. It was either going to be Rambo or Lulu, depending on whether it was a male or female. I guess we could call her Rambo if you don’t like Lulu.”

Sean laughed. “Lulu’s fine.” At the sound of her name, the puppy looked up, then went back to chewing on an empty box.

“What about you? Did you have a dog?” Dave asked.

“Yeah. We had a Cairn Terrier. He’s still at Mom and Dad’s, but he’s getting old now.”

“Sean?” Dave asked, his voice dropping.


“Do you miss your parents? Especially at Christmas. You could have gone home if you wanted.”

ID-100145033“Hey, enough of that.” Sean twisted in Dave’s arms to look at him. “I could have gone home, but I chose to stay. In the past, I had nothing to keep me here, so I used to go back for Christmas. But now, I have the best reason in the world to stay, and I couldn’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be.”

“But what about your family and their traditions?”
Sean thought of the perfectly orchestrated Vargos Christmases. While he treasured some of those traditions, like the honey-dipped melamakaronas that represented his Greek heritage, he didn’t notice their absence today, as he sat with Dave on the floor amidst gaudy torn paper and empty boxes. He’d give up melamakaronas and stilted conversation avoiding the whole “gay thing” a hundred times over, for a Christmas morning spent like this with Dave.

“I wish things were different, but they’re not. Christmas back at home is always so formal, and they barely tolerate me. I’d much rather make our own Christmas traditions—just you and me.”

“And Lulu.” Dave laughed.

Lulu took that moment to pee on the brightly patterned paper. Dave looked at Sean and raised an eyebrow. “I guess because she’s my dog, you expect me to clean up the pee?”

Sean laughed and got to his feet, offering a hand to help haul Dave up. When Dave reached his full height, he wrapped Sean in a tight hug and whispered in his ear. “Thank you so much for Lulu and for making Christmas so special.”

Sean relaxed into Dave’s hold, enjoying the feel of their bodies and the warmth of his hug. As they stood there holding each other, Sean looked at the slightly tilted Christmas tree with its bright decorations, the mess of paper and ribbon, the mischievous puppy, and the puddle of pee.

And for the first time in a long time, Sean felt the joy of spending Christmas surrounded by unconditional love.



For your chance to win an eBook copy of A Day at a Time, just leave a comment about your favourite Christmas traditions. I’ll choose a random winner on Christmas Eve.

Merry Christmas!



Melamakaronas are Greek Christmas cookies. Click here for the recipe.


A pet is for life. If you are thinking about buying a pet as a Christmas gift, please check out the following article (click here). It gives really important information about looking after a pet, things you should consider before giving a pet as a present. Each year, many animals are given as gifts without proper consideration as to whether the recipient is in a position to care for it. As a result many pets are given up in the new year, when the excitement and novelty has worn off. For this reason, adopting from a shelter is always a good choice, as there are many wonderful dogs and cats looking for their forever homes. 🙂


Photo credits from
Seamless Patter Christmas Tree Stock Image by boulemonademoon
Stars Brust Background Stock Image by samuiblue
Blue Bauble by James Barker
Globs by graur razvan ionut
Blue Gift Box Wrinkle Corner on White Background by Keerati
Christmas Bells by posterize

33 thoughts on “One Gift at a Time – Christmas short story & Giveaway

    • I love the lights too, Julie. Especially the looks on the little children’s faces as they’re mesmerised by the displays. We have a number of streets near us that are lit up spectacularly.

  1. Great Christmas story. And the pictures were nice, adding a festive touch. I love spending time with family and shopping with my mom (even with all the crowds). Thanks for the chance to win.

  2. I make pizzelles to give away to family, friends, and coworkers. I even was asked if I’d accept a bribe to bring them again to a group I volunteer with every month!

  3. What a great Christmas Short Story…
    Every Christmas Eve I curl up on the sofa with my girls and we watch the 1st Harry Potter movie…

    • You put me to shame, Trix. I do a lot of cooking but baking isn’t my forte. I need you to visit my place and bring a plate…:)

  4. Thanks for the great story. I enjoy the lights and decorating the tree with family. Making cookies is another family tradition and my son is just getting old enough to start helping.

  5. This was lovely.

    I especially love my family’s tradition of a big breakfast on Christmas morning. We all love breakfast foods, but often don’t have time to get together to enjoy them. Christmas morning means we can!

  6. I like to make divinity during the holidays, something my mother taught me to do when I was a little girl. We exchange one gift on Christmas Eve, usually something warm and snuggly I’ve made – a pillow, blanket, robe, or pajamas. Then after the morning rush, the grownups have a nap while the kids play. Over the years, we’ve rescued eight cats and two dogs. I’ve always had a problem with people giving pets as gifts when they haven’t been specifically requested, for exactly the reasons you’ve stated.

    Thanks for the story. Best of luck with your new releases, and happy holidays!

  7. There’s not much of a Christmas tradition for my family. These days it’s just the adults watching the kids open up their present on Christmas day.

  8. We still to this day, after we open our Christmas presents, put them back under the tree. Then when our family comes to visit (we rotated dinner and went around to all the families – there were 3 of us on the same street when I was a kid) someone in our family brings out the gifts to show and thank the givers.

  9. Massive, repeat cookie baking sprees from the first snow until New Years. So far this year I’m at 21 dozen gingerbread cookies, 4 dozen sugar cookies and 2 dozen death-by-chocolate cookies. The hope is to get a batch of pumpkin-molasses dog cookies in before the end of the year as well but I’m running out of supplies.

  10. We have a few little traditions, I normally have to work on Christmas Eve morning so I meet my mother in town and, after lunch, we wonder around enjoying a chance for a quiet time together and a chance to pick up the last few gifts. Next day is spent making sure its a restful day for Mum, so I do a lot the baking and meal preparation. I try and do varied dishes each year, as my father is not fond of turkey, but I sometimes incorporate it a different form (e.g. pie) to keep the hordes happy, but I also bake flapjacks, lemon meringue/apple pie and cup cakes as a little tradition Mum likes.

    Thank you for the Christmas story and thank you for a chance to win an ecopy of A Day at a Time. Seasonal Greeting to you and your family 🙂

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